Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Knox Hill Project: Weekly Update

A holiday weekend, most people go to picnics , maybe check out holiday event or have friends over. Old house People? Well they work on their house and this weekend was no exception. There is so much going on right now its hard to know where to start.
WE HAVE A POND! Albeit a small one. In the raised bed (part of the sunken garden area we constructed a three level pond. We had always planned for one there but you never know what shape it will take. We of course carefully dug out and leveled the three areas, making sure to remove all rocks and that was followed by a layer of sand. The sand acts as a cushion should anything step in the water area that was also followed by a couple of layers of heavy Weedblock material ( the great Commercial landscaper type not the cheap stuff you find at lowes or depot)
Here you can see the pond liner laid out. We used a heavy grade PVC liner material made expressly for ponds. You need to lay this in the sun for while to get it as flat as possible then lay it in. Remove as many folds as possible then as the pond fills up you can smooth out and seams or imperfection.
We are still placing rocks around the edges and we put a tumbled river rock on the floor of the pond . There is deeper area in the lower pond that will provide shelter for the "mosquito fish' which eat the larvae and cut down on the pests. We have order a decent size pump that will make for nice waterfall but nothing too overpowering. Of course eventually it will get some lighting.
Work continues in the basement and we hope to have it ready for the contractor to pour a new reinforced concrete floor to replace the thin one poured decades ago which is over a stone floor which we are carefully salvaging to reuse in the yard. There are some huge pieces of stone. The concrete is eing broken into smaller pieces and will be used as fill and drainage in various areas of the garden. We have had radon testing done (no problems) and this is a very dry basement so it should make great finished space that will eventually bececome a wine tasting room and a home theatre room.
From the basement to the roof! We were up on the roof dealing with routine maintenance issues with the box gutters which as expected were filled to the brim with junk. This is just critical maintenance that is often overlooked but you want to keep these cleared of debris. We plan on painting the inside of the lead lined gutters (actually in good shape) with paint/sealer to protect them. We also did a visual inspection of the flashing around chimneys and vents.
Being on the top of the hill as we are , we overlook everything and the views are great even in summer with three trees all leafed out I can see the day when we are sitting on our rooftop deck with the great breezes and the views in every direction.


Karen Anne said...

The neighborhood really looks nice in that roofdeck photo.

I'm curious as to the running costs of the pond once it's established? Does the pump have to run all the time? How much electricity it uses? Does it need water added periodically due to evaporation? Thanks.

Paul Wilham said...

Pond costs are minimal. The pump should run all the time. To keep the water aerated and avoid stagnation. On a small pond like this with a smaller pond pump 3-500 GPH (gallons per hour) uses minimal electricity. maybe like having a lightbulb on. I've had ponds with 4-5000 GPH pumps and maybe added a couple of dollars to the bill.

Normally rain will replenish any evaporation. In fact you want to have some sort of overflow (for heavy rains. In super dry areas there are auto fillers that turn on a water supply if it gets low.